BoBi Awards

The Best of Brooklyn (BoBi) award is presented each year to an author whose work best exemplifies or speaks to the spirit of Brooklyn. These celebrated authors write to educate and inspire their readers, incorporating themes that capture what makes Brooklyn unique.


Hilton Als

Hilton Als is a writer living in New York and California. He is the author of several books including The Women, White Girls—a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of a Lambda Literary Award—and My Pinup. Als has received numerous accolades including a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, Yale University’s Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Als is a Teaching Professor at the University of California, Berkeley and has also taught at Columbia University’s School of the Arts; Princeton University; Smith College; Wellesley College; Wesleyan University; and the Yale School of Drama.


Esmeralda Santiago

Esmeralda Santiago is the author of three groundbreaking and critically acclaimed memoirs: When I Was Puerto Rican; Almost a Woman (adapted into a Peabody Award winning movie for PBS Masterpiece Theatre); and The Turkish Lover. Her fiction includes the novels América’s Dream (also made into a movie), and the national best selling historical novel Conquistadora. Esmeralda wrote the illustrated children’s book A Doll for Navidades. She’s also the co-author (with Joie Davidow) of two treasured literary anthologies: Las Christmas and Las Mamis. Esmeralda’s books have been translated into twelve languages.


Toi Derricotte

Toi Derricotte is the recipient of the 2020 Frost Medal from Poetry Society of America. Her sixth collections of poetry, I: New and Selected Poems, was published in 2019 and shortlisted for the 2019 National Book Award. Other books of poetry include The Undertaker’s Daughter, Tender, Captivity, Natural Birth and The Empress of the Death House. Her literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. With Cornelius Eady, Derricotte co-founded the Cave Canem Foundation in 1996. She is Professor Emerita from University of Pittsburgh and a former Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.


Lynn Nottage

Lynn Nottage is a playwright, a screenwriter, and the first woman to win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. Her plays include most recently Sweat, Floyd’s, Mlima’s Tale, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, Ruined, Intimate Apparel, Fabulation, and more. She has also developed This is Reading, a performance installation in Reading, Pennsylvania. Ms. Nottage has received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” Fellowship, among other awards. Visit her website at, and follow her on Twitter @lynnbrooklyn.


Mo Willems

Mo Willems is the first picture book author to receive the annual BoBi award. He is the award-winning, number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator of the beloved Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny, and Elephant & Piggie series.


N.K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin is most recently the author of The City We Became. She is the first author in history to win three consecutive Best Novel Hugo Awards, all for her Broken Earth trilogy. Her work has also won the Nebula, Locus, and Goodreads Choice Awards. She has been a reviewer for the New York Times Book Review and an instructor for the Clarion and Clarion West writing workshops. In her spare time she is a gamer and gardener, and she is also single-handedly responsible for saving the world from King Ozzymandias, her dangerously intelligent ginger cat, and his phenomenally destructive sidekick Magpie.


Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead is the author of nine books of fiction and non-fiction, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning novels The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys. Harlem Shuffle, his new novel, will be published in 2021.


Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an award-winning and bestselling author of books for children and young adults. She has written over 30 novels, but some of her recent works include Red at the Bone and Harbor Me. She is best known for Miracle’s Boys, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles Brown Girl Dreaming, After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. You can visit her website at, or follow her on Twitter @Jackie Woodson.


Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is a novelist, essayist, and short story writer, and author of the forthcoming book The Arrest. His most recently published novel is titled The Feral Detective. His award-winning and bestselling novels include Motherless Brooklyn _and _The Fortress of Solitude, and a few of his other novels include A Gambler’s Anatomy and Dissident Gardens. To learn more about Jonathan and his work visit his website at


James McBride

James McBride is an author, musician, and screenwriter. He received the National Book Award for his novel The Good Lord Bird, and is the bestselling author of the modern classic The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother, and has most recently published Deacon King Kong. During his presidency, Barack Obama awarded James the 2015 National Humanities Medal for “humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America.” Learn more about James on his website at


Lois Lowry

Lois Lowry is a bestselling and award-winning author best known for her books for children and young adults including Number the Stars and The Giver, which both received Newbery Medals. She has written over 40 books, and her most recent work is titled On the Horizon. You can learn more about Lois on her website at, or follow her on Twitter @LoisLowryWriter.


Pete Hamill

Pete Hamill was a journalist, novelist, essayist, and editor of the New York Post and the_ New York Daily News_. He wrote over 30 novels in his lifetime. Some of his books include the memoir A Drinking Life, The Gift, Snow in August, Forever,_ North River_, and Tabloid City. His most recent and last work was titled A Killing for Christ. You can visit Pete’s website at to learn more about his life and written works.


Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri is an author known for her short stories, novels, and essays. Her debut collection of short stories, Interpreter of Maladies, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the PEN/Hemingway award. Her first novel, The Namesake, was adapted into the popular film of the same name. Her other novels include The Clothing of Books, The Lowland, In Other Words, and more. In 2014 she was awarded the National Humanities Medal. You can learn more about Jhumpa, and her work on the website


John Ashbery

John Ashbery was an American poet and art critic. Ashbery is considered the most influential poet of his time. Ashbery published more than 20 volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. His most recent collections include They Knew What They Wanted: Collages and Poems, Commotion of the Birds, and Breezeway. Learn more about John, and his work at


Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Breath, Eyes, Memory, an Oprah Book Club selection, Krik? Krak!, a National Book Award finalist, The Farming of Bones, The Dew Breaker, Create Dangerously,_ Claire of the Sea Light_, and most recently Everything Inside, among others written for children and young adults. Although Danticat resides in the United States, she still considers Haiti home. To learn more about Edwidge and her work, visit her website at


Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is an award-winning novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He is the author of over 40 books, his first novel Devil in a Blue Dress was adapted into a film with the same name starring Denzel Washington. His most recent works include the forthcoming novel Blood Grove, The Awkward Black Man, and Down the River unto the Sea. One of his mentors encouraged him, saying “You’re Black, Jewish, with a poor upbringing; there are riches therein.” Mosley resides in New York City. Learn more by visiting his website


Paul Auster

Paul Auster is an award-winning American writer and film director. His notable works include The New York Trilogy, Moon Palace, The Music of Chance, The Book of Illusions, The Brooklyn Follies, Invisible, Sunset Park, Winter Journal, and 4 3 2 1. His books have been translated into more than forty languages. Learn more about Paul, and his work at